FW: empty sky

Craven, Jim jcraven at clark.edu
Sun Sep 16 12:36:25 MDT 2001

This was written by my friend, colleague and comrade Dr. Gerard Smith of the
English Department of Clark College. It is indeed food for thought.

Jim Craven

-----Original Message-----
From: Gerard Smith [mailto:docsmith at scattercreek.com]
Sent: Sunday, September 16, 2001 4:36 AM
To: jim craven
Subject: empty sky

Empty Sky

cloudless, blue afternoon
no wind, here, in the West
dust and smoke rises
from the Eastern altar.
strangers gather; turn
their faces heavenward
expecting explanations,
find nothing to explain
in the rubble and debris,
find nothing of remains,
only the ledgers and paper
dreams of better times,
of fortunes and finances.

faith, some say, sustains
when hope's wings fail,
when birds fall
from the empty sky.

for the first time
no vapor trail letters
crisscrossing my life,
only conflicting voices
promising more emptiness:
sacred vows promising
more sacrifice and revenge,
the holy words burying
virtue, truth and history
beneath the frames
of twisted rhetoric,
under the tortured steel
intent of patriots
and zealots.

love, some say, conquers all
when angry arms flail,
when doves fall
from the empty sky.

life is suffering,
one's duty is compassion,
right thought, and action,
but this mantra cannot
drown out the media's chorus,
the righteous action
of unified passion
stirred by images flashed
again and again and again
across the screen of America:
the filter of truth
and our national conscience,
the pulpit of pundits
for national concensus.

peace, some say, returns
when deadly hate fades,
when hawks fall
from the empty sky.

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